Old 04-11-2008, 12:40 PM   #1
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Default Houston MIDI Map

Let me first say that I am no developer or coder. Heck, I struggle with HTML and Java!

I've heard mention of people toying with the idea of getting the Steiny Houston going with Reaper and as much as I personally don't think that I would have a chance of being able to code something like this using the plugin SDK I thought I'd attempt to map it.

It is not complete, but I've mapped all the buttons' sends and the receives to illuminate them, the most basic stuff for the faders and jog/shuttle wheel and the rotary encoders, even though I haven't yet found the messages to control the LED display, or the array of LEDs around each encoder, but then I havent tried logging the output from Cubase SX yet.

If anyone would like me to carry on with this please post here.

*I*
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File Type: txt houston_midi_msgs.txt (5.8 KB, 523 views)
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Old 04-11-2008, 12:46 PM   #2
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Great work inthepipeline, nice to see someone doing something about it instead of just asking for it!

BTW, can you re-check what happens when you rotate the Jog/Shuttle anticlockwise vs. clockwise please?

Also please confirm if fader max/min values = 00/FF.

Cheers.
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Old 04-11-2008, 12:49 PM   #3
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If it is pretty much just plain MIDI messages, I think it would not be too impossible! Also, I think Deric is so quick to catch on things, that even if the Houston sends sequences of MIDI messages per command, he can handle it!

But, I think the best results will come from a developer who has access to the particular hardware in question!
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:00 PM   #4
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Hi Deric,

Like the faders it's really not very simple to do this using Bome's Midi Translator, even though I've spent the last few hours test ing the stuff in the .txt using it. It will at least send specific velocity messages. I'm going to try rewiring sx through my Houston via MIDI Yoke tommorow. If SX will pick up the Houston this way I should be able to log the output from SX and log it. At least this way it might be possible to work out exactly how the faders are jog/shuttle wheel are controlled and how they output.

*I*
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:14 PM   #5
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Hi *I* (hope you don't mind - it's less typing!)

Do you have to use SX at all?

See if you can use MIDIOX.

You 'should' be able to just run MIDIOX (with no DAW running) and it will capture the MIDI-In. (once you've told it which MIDI ports to listen on).

Xenakios, of course, you are quite right - it would be much easier for Houston owner to test/debug.

Edit: Are the faders motorised?
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:16 PM   #6
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But for the moment:

Slow regular clockwise movement produces:

Slow: B0 13 7F
Slightly faster:B0 13 6C

Aargh the thing sticks!

At about 120 RPM (2 revs per sec) the value is B0 13 06. That's the highest value.
Anticlockwise, it seems to do something very similar, BO 13 7F again etc. I know that for the moment this doesn't make much sense. I take it you are expecting a nice straight forward orientation message at the beginning...
Oh, hang on,
Even though the notes seem to be the same, the MIDI Message trigger, at least for the lowest value, B0 13 7F changes
from cc#1: controller 19,127, clockwise
to CC#1: controller pp 19,127, anticlockwise.

Hope this helps.

*I*
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:20 PM   #7
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Sorry Deric, we are crossing each others posts.

I have 1/2hr to catch a beer. must go but I'll be in touch soon.
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Old 04-12-2008, 04:58 AM   #8
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Right!

After a substantial break I'm back on the case.
I've just re-installed the unmentionable, bloated, cumbersome, un-navigable program which I used to use and which now makes me mumble and spit involuntarily. For the sake of my personal sanity(or what is left of it) let us call the program "x".

I'm just off to download MIDIOX. I'll report back as soon as I can, hopefully with some useful stuff.

*I*
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Old 04-12-2008, 06:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inthepipeline View Post
Right!

After a substantial break I'm back on the case.
I've just re-installed the unmentionable, bloated, cumbersome, un-navigable program which I used to use and which now makes me mumble and spit involuntarily. For the sake of my personal sanity(or what is left of it) let us call the program "x".

I'm just off to download MIDIOX. I'll report back as soon as I can, hopefully with some useful stuff.

*I*
LOL that was funny If I can help in any way then let me know.I have a Houston sat here,connected but unused ATM. By the way
how to you get Reaper to use the Houston as it doesn't appear inside the controllers list,or will it with your software?


cheers


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Old 04-12-2008, 07:11 AM   #10
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Hi Norbury Brook,

Yep, there must be a great many of these devices out of use, but there, all over the world. I'm one of them of course. I think that on the surface (forgive the pun)they are one of the most solid controllers around. That's why I want to bring mine into use with Reaper if I can.

As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I'm really no developer by any reach of the imagination, but with the gracious help of such enthusiasts as Xenakios and Deric it is at least theoretically possible to implement anything as a controller in Reaper, now that Justin has made the inspired move to release the development SDK.

So much as I can't code, I can analyse. It's all worthwhile if it helps Reaper become popular amongst a wider audience.

To answer your question:
Hopefully it might be possible to do something like modifying and truncating the driver designed for the MCU and making Csurf.dll aware of it, so it might end up appearing in the control surface list, but the coders are the people to ask this question, rather than little ol' me.

The other, and far less effective way of doing it would be to do something like N42's extended functionality of the buttons on the Alphatrack. That works by tellng reaper to accept the button presses as keyboard presses, so that they can be implemented under keyboard shortcuts in Reaper.

I'm still trying to find a way of getting some useful output from the Jog/Shuttle wheel on the Houston. It appears to send repeated messages of a certain value depending how fast it is moved, but it is very difficult to move at a set speed. I'm thinking perhaps I can use a hand drill to rotate it at a constant rate!

Help and ideas always appreciated. There are so many potentially useful buttons on the Houston. In total, apart from the transport and the "obvious" assigments there are about 50 others available! It would be very useful to have a consensus on how they might be most logically implemented.

It would also be useful to maybe get a Houston to someone with the programming know-how.

I'm in Bristol UK. I'm not sure where Deric is...Deric?

*I*
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Old 04-12-2008, 07:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norbury brook View Post
...If I can help in any way then let me know.I have a Houston sat here,connected but unused ATM...
I was going to make a joke that it doesn't use ATM but I won't.

norbury brook, that's interesting - especially as we are 'local'.

I'd be happy to do this (Houston support) assuming someone else doesn't first (and if anyone's going to please say so in order that I don't waste my time) but I'd really only want to put the work in if I was going to get a 'good' result at the end of it.

emailing .dll files back and forth with explanations of what doesn't operate as intented will quickly become tiresome - I'd suggest that, as we are both London based, if an initial release doesn't work then I either borrow your Houston or come and sit with it for an afternoon/evening (you provide the tea/coffee/water though).
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Old 04-12-2008, 08:26 AM   #12
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*I* thanks for the explanation, I agree the HOuston is a bit of a tank but it's served me well over the last 5 years,nothings broken in constant daily use,just missing a bit of paint here and there from wear and tear.

I still have cubase and nuendo 4 and the Houston implementation is Very Very good now,everything in the project maps.To be honest its still too fiddly to access all the deep level menus for VSTI's and plugins,and the mouse is quicker,but from a programming point of view its first class.I don't know if you can look inside Cubendo's code and get any info but if you know how I'll have a look for you.

Deric,

Sure, you're more than welcome to come over or borrow the Houston,I'm about to start a new project and I've decided to return to Reaper for this one so the Houston will be redundant as of the end of next week for a while.



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Old 04-12-2008, 08:42 AM   #13
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Sure... as of the end of next week...
OK cool, that suits me perfectly as I've still a couple of days of book-work to do before working on the final release code for the 01X.

Hopefully we won't need to do this but if my first attempt doesn't work perfectly It'd be quicker for me just to sit with the controller and my laptop for a couple of hours.

*I* if you can update the text file you've already produced with the stuff mentioned earlier that would be great. I'll use your data to code from.

So unless J/C (or anyone else) jumps in to say they'll do it, I'll start looking at it later next week.
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Old 04-12-2008, 10:32 AM   #14
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*I*/norbury brook,

Can either of you also check what the Houston sends out when it boots up please? i.e. First switched on. This may well be SYSEX.

If you use MIDIOX it has an option to save all info to a file - which might help.
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Old 04-12-2008, 02:11 PM   #15
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Hi Deric,

I've spent most of the day collecting data using MIDIOX.

It's split up into .txt files with an explanation of the actions, so it should be relatively easy to interpret.

I started by checking out the way that "X" sends data to the Houston for all the paramters. I'm nearly finished on this leg.
I just have the display to deal with.

Then I'll start logging the Houston it'self, boot-up and the jog wheel included.
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Old 04-12-2008, 04:13 PM   #16
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Ok here is the info.

When the Houston boots up it doesn't seem to send anything useful.

If all the faders are down, it sends nothing. If they are anywhere else it sends either 2, 4, or 6 messages, but they are always different.

I'd love to include a bunch of examples except that MIDIOX has started writing empty log files for some reason.

Anyway, before it did, and having had "X" continually dissapear on me (nothing new there!)I've managed to log everything that "X" sends to Houston and everything that Houston sends.

This was all done using the MIDI input and MIDI output on the Houston, rather than the USB driver. I've found that driver to be buggy in the past. It often disconnects for no apparent reason.

Each text file contains an explanation of exactly what the actions were, to make things more visible.

Enjoy.

*I*
Attached Files
File Type: txt display.txt (10.4 KB, 326 views)
File Type: txt displayansi.txt (10.5 KB, 310 views)
File Type: txt displayansi-part2.txt (10.5 KB, 240 views)
File Type: txt displaynumber.txt (10.6 KB, 267 views)
File Type: txt open-project.txt (26.8 KB, 267 views)
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Old 04-12-2008, 04:21 PM   #17
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And here are some more.

I need to zip the rest
Attached Files
File Type: txt startsx.txt (17.9 KB, 254 views)
File Type: txt switch_to_sx.txt (25.0 KB, 322 views)
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Old 04-12-2008, 04:27 PM   #18
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*I*

Sorry I changed my mind.










OK, just messin'.

Haven't d/l'd them yet (will soon) but it sounds like you've made a very professional (Edit: job) of it *I* - cool.

Thanks for the posted notes too, I'll take a better read later in the evening.

Cheers and nice one

Deric.
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Old 04-12-2008, 04:27 PM   #19
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Here is the whole lot.

Have fun!
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File Type: zip houston_output.zip (70.0 KB, 256 views)
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Old 04-12-2008, 04:28 PM   #20
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Your welcome Deric.

All the best
*I*
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Old 04-13-2008, 02:35 AM   #21
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*I* the USB driver is fine it was earlier versions of cubase/nuendo that caused the disconnecting issues.As I mentioned earlier if you want to get inside cubendo 4 let me know


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Old 04-15-2008, 06:17 AM   #22
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The hard part already seems to be there!

I find that the csurf_babyhui.cpp in Reaper already controls the first 7 faders on the Houston,. They do move the faders in Reaper, channels 1-7. Fader 8 isn't implemented and nor is the master fader,or for that matter anything else.

They don't quite line up quite correctly. Setting a fader on the Houston to 0dB sets the faders in Reaper to +1.75dB and it would appear that on touching a fader, there is some discrepency between the input and output values from Houston. The Reaper faders jump slightly. Equally, clicking on the Reaper fader causes the Houston's to move upward slightly, but hey, these are just offset issues aren't they?

I think the jumping fader issue was well discussed on the SX forums years ago. Some guy actually wrote an entire website dissing the Houstons inabilty to work properly, but now I;ve been fiddling with it, gleaning what I can from the csurf_mcu.cpp and playing MIDI files through the Houston to control it, I'm absolutely sure that it can be made to work. Oh how I wish I understood C++!
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Old 04-15-2008, 06:26 AM   #23
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Hi,

Just a quick note (as I see you've posted) to let you know - I'm just finishing the (better than original) 01X support stuff now... I haven't forgotten about this

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...Oh how I wish I understood C++!
Me too...
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Old 04-15-2008, 06:29 AM   #24
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Quote:
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...Setting a fader on the Houston to 0dB sets the faders in Reaper to +1.75dB and it would appear that on touching a fader, there is some discrepency between the input and output values from Houston. The Reaper faders jump slightly. Equally, clicking on the Reaper fader causes the Houston's to move upward slightly, but hey, these are just offset issues aren't they?...
Be handy if you can see what the Houston 0dB Fader MIDI value is...
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Old 04-15-2008, 06:53 AM   #25
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Deric,

I've just cheched it out, even though MIDIOX seems to be somehow corrupted. It won't record a log at all now, so I've been recording the actions in Reaper as a MIDI file and looking at them in the list editor, so I'm looking at decimal values. The 0dB point has a value of 106, setting the Houston fader, but I'm guessing that if I do this in reverse, I;ll get a different value.
Just off to do it now.

*I*
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Old 04-15-2008, 07:05 AM   #26
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*I*,

Also see if with a MIDI utility (whatever, if MIDIOX isn't working for you - odd that) you can SEND MIDI to the Houston. See which MIDI value sets the fader at 0dB - use that 106 as a starting point for the values you send and see how it effects the fader.

Deric.

Ps. Going to be doing this 01X map for a few hours now but will check back later.
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Old 04-15-2008, 07:07 AM   #27
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*I*,

Ps. I liked your idea about using 'X' as a 'software reference' (you mentioned it earlier)... Might be a bit more discreet if we used this sort of thing across the forum...
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Old 04-15-2008, 07:20 AM   #28
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Guys I'm in and out of the studio today so if I can help let me know

cheers


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Old 04-15-2008, 07:53 AM   #29
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Back again.

These are the hex values for the output of "X" to zero the faders:

Fader 1, B0 01 68, B0 21 69
Fader 2, B0 02 68, B0 22 69
Fader 3, B0 03 68, B0 23 69
Etcetera

This sets the faders correctly.


The equivalent output from Reaper, using the babyhui_csurf.dll is:

Fader 1, B0 01 5F, B0 21 7F
Fader 2, B0 02 5F, B0 22 7F
Fader 3, B0 03 5F, B0 23 7F
Etc.

This actually set the faders to around -1.5dB on the control surface.

To get Reaper to set the faders on the Houston at 0dB:

Fader 1, B0 01 69, B0 21 39
Fader 2, B0 02 69, B0 22 39
Fader 3, B0 03 69, B0 23 39
Etc.

So there does seem to be an offset.

Touching the Houston faders, being careful not to move them in the process, with Reapers faders set to 0dBcauses them to jump upward by a little (around 0.4dB) but this is not the same for all the faders. It might have more to do with internal calibration for the Houston.

*I*

P.S. Deric, MIDIOX is still working, sort of. I'll try re-installing it. It seems to be randomly either appending or overwriting the log. Sometimes it doesn't write one at all. Wierd!?

Footnote*

I find it quite amusing that as I work with the Houston "sort of" working with Reaper, the display on the Houston reads:

***********Connection Terminated***********
*******Steinberg Media Technologies********
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Old 04-15-2008, 08:05 AM   #30
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*I*,

Good work man!

I'm surprised 7F isn't max-ing out the faders!

Unless I'm misreading you... If 'X' send blah-69 to the fader to 0dB-it should REAPER not do the same?

i.e. If we are talking PC->Surface then it is the surface that does-x-with-message-y...

I would have thought it should be the same value for the Houston to do x as it has no real idea of what is sending the message to it...

See what I mean?

Edit: i.e. 'X' says '68/69' and REAPER says '69/39' - to get the Houston to do the same thing?
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Old 04-15-2008, 08:38 AM   #31
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My thoughts too Deric,

but that is repeatable across all the of the 7 working faders. I just checked it again.

Looking at the MIDI in decimal (in Reapers inspector)I can see note 1's velocity climbing steadily from a value of 0 upwards, while the output of note 21's velocity jumps all over the place. It seems to be using notes 1-8 as MSB and 21-28 as LSB, so actually 5f is less than 68 on the MSB, or am I wrong?

Concerning the smaller discrepency, between 68 69 and 69 39, I think this might have something to do with the offset between what actually reads on the scale, and what the counter on the stepper motor is doing. There is always a slight offset. I remember this from many years ago when I worked on quality assurance in a manufacturer that made meters with a motorised scale which drew a trace. There is a name for this factor, but I can't remember it.
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Old 04-15-2008, 10:23 AM   #32
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Yep, I can confirm this:

5f, 7f = decimal 95, 127 (or one midi number off 96)is where Reapers 0dB point is set.
68, 29 = decimal 104,41 is where "X"s 0dB point is set.
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Old 04-15-2008, 10:45 AM   #33
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That's interesting.

The information you're collating is going to become invaluable if we're to make this thing work as it should... fudges are pants (errr...)

Nice one *I*
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Old 04-15-2008, 11:13 AM   #34
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I've just been converting the code for the Houstons display.

It is sent as sysex in hex ASCII as two strings, the first for the upper line of the display, the second for the lower:

F0 39 48 01 01 28 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 43 6f 6e 6e 65 63 74 69 6f 6e 20 74 65 72 6d 69 6e 61 74 65 64 2e 2e 2e 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 12 f7
produces this:
*9H ( Connection terminated... ¸
on the top line,

F0 39 48 01 2d 21 53 74 65 69 6e 62 65 72 67 20 4d 65 64 69 61 20 54 65 63 68 6e 6f 6c 6f 67 69 65 73 20 32 30 30 34 5d f7
Produces This:
*9H -!Steinberg Media Technologies 2004]¸

on the bottom line.

I think that's just about everything on the device covered!!

*I*
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Old 04-15-2008, 11:18 AM   #35
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Thanks for your kind words Deric, but it is I who should be thanking you for getting involved.

At least now this things workings are displayed to the world... and Reapers devs.
Hey! it might even be possible to get the upper segements to work as level meters, or is this going to far!!

*I*
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Last edited by inthepipeline; 04-15-2008 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 04-15-2008, 11:27 AM   #36
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*I*,

This is good stuff.

(BTW - as you can see - we can make the display say anything we want )

We should be able to make 'anything' work - we just need to know what (whatever it is) needs to 'see' in order to do whatever it is we want.

Erm, I mean - if you can determine the right codes to send to trigger those meters then yes, we can implement that (at least I can't see why not - at the moment I am trying to recalibrate the 01X's meter displays as well as (too many) other things).

Anyway, this is all good stuff - for a variety of reasons

Catch you soon,

Deric.
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Old 04-15-2008, 11:33 AM   #37
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Great stuff guys meters would be incredible


Just a thought as I was reading the last few posts, does Reapers variable fader behavior have anything to do with what you're seeing? I know when i first started using reaper the faders didnt seem to act like cubendo,after some checking I realised that reaper is set to default log faders whereas Cubendo i think is linear,thats the 2.3 log for reaper in settings or 1.0 linear.


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Old 04-15-2008, 12:05 PM   #38
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Aah MC, you have a point.

I'll check this out.

BTW Just in case anyone needs them here are the manuals for the Houston.

ftp://ftp.steinberg.net/Download/Har...n/Docs_English

A question for you MC, I wouldn't mind re-calibrating the Houstons faders, but for the life of me I can't find out which 2 buttons to press when powering it up. Would you know this by any chance?
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Old 04-15-2008, 03:14 PM   #39
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*I* here you go


Hidden modes and calibration

After installing Houston there is one important thing that you must do. Houston's faders are touch sensitive and the calibration of the touch sensitivity in important for correct operation.

Switch Houston OFF and hold down the 'SEND MASTERS' and 'EQ1' buttons.
Now Turn Houston ON and release the buttons - the unit will now perform its position and touch sensitivity calibration on all faders.
While this is in progress DO NOT touch the faders or the calibration results will be wrong. It is also a good idea to stand well back, while the faders are calibrated. It may sound dramatic, but does give the best results.

Once calibrated the unit retains these values, and this process only need be performed if the Houston is moved to a new environment, or there is a huge change is air humidity where the Houston is used. For instance, you should perform this calibration again if the table the Houston sits on is changed from a metal to a wooden one.

There is another 'soak test' which is available by holding down 'Send Masters' and 'FX Send 1' while powering up; this does a long test, whose function I'm not sure of, but it does give a chance to check all the LEDs are working properly on the unit. Finally, pressing 'Send Masters' and 'EQs' gives a mode which allows the readings from the soak test to be read, particularly the amount of time that was taken (shown in the top left corner).

Switch Houston OFF and hold down the 'SEND MASTERS' and 'EQ2'
Another test mode

Hidden Commands

press <shift> + <motors> ...

now you're able to controll the panorama with the faders.
it works also with <shift> + <motors> while the "fx send X" is activated
then you can control the Aux-Sends with your Faders. (It's really good for making Submixes for e.g. the singer).

Or <Shift> + <motors> while "inserts" is selected, then you can control the insert-FX parameters of the selectet channel with the faders...

"Shift"+"Undo" - "Edit", "History"
"Shift"+"Save" - "File", "Save New Version"
"Shift"+"Motors" - Fader/Encoder flip
"Shift"+"Bank Left" - one Channel Shift Left
"Shift"+"Bank Right" - one Channel Shift Right
"Shift"+"Rewind" - "Transport", "Return to Zero"
"Shift"+"Forward" - "Transport", "Goto End"
"Shift"+"Play" - Cycle on/off

cheers


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Old 04-16-2008, 07:02 AM   #40
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Marcus,

Very useful information.
My machine, Duly calibrated.

Thank you very much for this.

Ian
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